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GALLERY+VIDEO: Crowds flock to the Windsurfing Regatta in Worthington

Eventually, Saturday's rain sputtered to a halt and the beach filled up with people for the music, food and the spectacle too.

Jeff Adamski shows a windsurfing student how to lift the sail out of the water during a lesson at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival on Lake Okabena.
Jeff Adamski shows a windsurfing student how to lift the sail out of the water during a lesson at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival on Lake Okabena.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON — The 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival enjoyed an absolutely beautiful weather day on Friday, sans the wind, but the waves arrived just in time for racing on Saturday — in addition to some sporadic rain showers and sultry humidity — proving that Sailboard Beach was still the place to be.

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On Saturday morning, windsurfers skidded across the lake, propelled by wind and wave, and around noon, a drizzle set in, causing some early festival-goers to shelter beneath the beer tent.

Eventually, though, the rain sputtered to a halt and the beach began to fill up with people there for the music, the food and the spectacle too. Children played at the shoreline under the watchful eyes of their parents, and seemingly everyone had a pile of ribs, a cold drink or a funnel cake.

And the windsurfers returned to the waves.

One of them was Jeff Adamski of Otsego, who has been windsurfing since 1983 and teaching people how to do it since 2000.

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“I can teach anyone to windsurf in an hour,” he said.

During the Regatta, he offered lessons for free in hopes of bringing people to the event and getting them into the sport. He’s taught children as young as 5 to windsurf independently, and his oldest student has been about 75, though he knows people who windsurf well into their 80s.

For his learners, he uses a set of wide boards, which are a little more stable than the narrower ones experienced windsurfers may favor. Which sail to use depends on the individual, to an extent — there are smaller ones designed for kids, and windsurfers need to be strong enough to lift the sail out of the water without a struggle.

Jeff Adamski teaches a girl how to windsurf at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival on Lake Okabena.
Jeff Adamski teaches a girl how to windsurf at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival on Lake Okabena.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

Normally his windsurfing lessons last about three hours, but during the Regatta, Adamski tries to get the basics down in one hour. At one point there was a land-based windsurfing simulator, but Adamski feels it’s easier to teach people in the actual water.

“I put them on the board right away,” he said.

He teaches the students how to get onto the board and then shows them uphauling, or getting the sail out of the water. Then, before they go out for a run by themselves, he shows them how to turn left and right.

It helps students to learn in a lake, as the water is much flatter, and while experienced windsurfers likely preferred Saturday morning’s windier conditions to the calmer breezes later in the day, Adamski said it’s best to learn when the wind is only around 5 to 10 miles an hour. By the end of the lesson, though, his students want to skim across the waves as quickly as they can manage it.

Students need to be ready to get wet, because most people who are learning to windsurf do fall in at one point or another.

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The lessons at the Regatta are “mostly just to get people the feel of it,” said Adamski, who’s been attending the Regatta since it started.

In order to windsurf, a person needs just one board, one sail, one mast and one boom — the piece you hold in order to steer. Boards and sails come in various shapes and sizes, and while there is plenty of used equipment around, buying a single set new might run around $2,000.

“People think you have to be athletic to (windsurf), and you don’t,” Adamski said. “It’s a lot more finesse than strength. The wind does the work; all you do is hang on.”

Windsurfers skim across the surface of Lake Okabena during a race as part of the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Windsurfers skim across the surface of Lake Okabena during a race as part of the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
Viva Knievel performs during the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Saturday, June 11.
Viva Knievel performs during the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Saturday, June 11.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
The sun sets at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Saturday, June 11.
The sun sets at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Saturday, June 11.
Tim Middagh / The Globe<br/>
Boaters enjoy the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Boaters enjoy the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
Children blow bubbles during the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Children blow bubbles during the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
Children paint suncatchers during the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Children paint suncatchers during the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
Windsurfers race on Lake Okabena as part of the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Windsurfers race on Lake Okabena as part of the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
Crowds enjoy the food and fellowship during the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Crowds enjoy the food and fellowship during the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Tim Middagh / The Globe<br/>
The sun sets on Sailboard Beach at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Saturday, June 11.
The sun sets on Sailboard Beach at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Saturday, June 11.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
Easton Corbin performs during the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Friday, June 10.
Easton Corbin performs during the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Friday, June 10.
Alisha Clausen / The Globe
The chair auction raised $5,000 toward the purchase of an Amelia Earhart statue during 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Saturday, June 11.
The chair auction raised $5,000 toward the purchase of an Amelia Earhart statue during 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Saturday, June 11.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
Race officials Jeff Hegwer, in orange, and Jason Swanson take a wind speed reading during race action Saturday morning at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Race officials Jeff Hegwer, in orange, and Jason Swanson take a wind speed reading during race action Saturday morning at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
Brad Morgan plays at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Saturday, June 11, 2022.
Brad Morgan plays at the 2022 Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival Saturday, June 11, 2022.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

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A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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